Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton No signal: NASL’s Canadian broadcast woes highlighted by FCE/Rowdies match

No signal: NASL’s Canadian broadcast woes highlighted by FCE/Rowdies match


The Tampa Bay Lightning hosted the Chicago Blackhawks in the second game of the Stanley Cup Final. In Edmonton, the entire soccer community was riveted to the opening game of the Women’s World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium.

Saturday evening was the worst possible time for the Tampa Bay Rowdies to host FC Edmonton in NASL action; if there was ever a time for either team’s fan base to take a mulligan and miss a game, this was it.

Or, if there was ever a time for yet another embarrassing hiccup in the NASL’s Canadian broadcast plan, this was it. Already, Canadians can’t access games that pit American-based teams against American-based teams, because ESPN3 can’t be accessed in Canada. The plan is to have FC Edmonton’s road games available on TSN GO, but the Eddies’ road game wasn’t available on Saturday. Eventually, well into the first half of the Rowdies/FCE game, a feed was available through Takeitlive.TV.

So, this is the challenge. On Monday morning, when NASL executives get into the office, the first order of business is how to get the Canadian mess sorted it out. After all, it is the North American Soccer League, not American Soccer League. The league desperately needs a Canadian in the front office, close to commissioner Bill Peterson, who can help steer the league through some of the challenges it faces in the market north of the border. When NASL signed to get its games on ESPN3 for the 2015 season, it cut Canada out of the market; and the Band-Aid solutions to get games played in the United States to the Canadian fans aren’t working.

At best, Canadian fans deserve a solution. At worst, they deserve an apology from NASL.

As for the game that most of us didn’t see — or only saw portions of — the Eddies dropped a 2-1 decision in Florida; the win keeps the Rowdies mathematically alive for the NASL spring title. They trail the Cosmos by three points, and New York holds is six better in terms of goal difference.

In his final game with the Eddies before heading to South America for the Copa America, Lance Laing curled in a second-half goal, but that marker came after Darwin Espinal and Brian Shriver had scored for the Rowdies. Espinal’s goal came on a rebound from a shot from former Eddie Corey Hertzog.

The Rowdies were missing forwards Maicon Santos and Georgi Hristov, as well as defender Stefan Antonijevic, who all received red cards in last week’s game against the Indy Eleven.

“I commend our guys for in particular the second half,” FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller said in a release issued by the club. “We finished the stronger team, we were chasing the game and getting after it. I said to to the guys that we’ve got to show that energy and commitment in the first half as well and if we do that we’ll be competitive in this league. I was very disappointed here tonight, I thought the way the game finished we could have got a draw out of it.”

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  1. Soccer Fan

    June 8, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    TSN Go has been a bust, no links on their website for matches and not in any schedule. The quality on TSN Go when the early games of the season were on was good but they yesterday was a joke with no stream available like it was supposed to be.

    Last years NASL Live was a great service after the initial first few weeks of ironing out the issue’s, if they could get all NASL games on a Canada NASL Live service or GolTV that would be great. US is lucky with the ESPN3 deal, its a great service for them that allows them to watch on TV.

    Ottawa’s Livestream on TSNGO was also non existent yesterday and to the leagues credit they did get it up on TakeitLive.TV after the game started and they had complaints TSNGO was a bust again, 2 days in a row for Canadian streams. The Fath’s have some extra juice in the NASL with their 33% B shares in NASL so they should be pushing for a resolution.


  2. Mark Cayer

    June 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    As a Canadian it pains me that I cannot easily watch games from the NASL while I try to support and follow the league and my local Ottawa Fury FC. In the year previous to Ottawa starting to play in the NASL I followed the league via their free NASL streaming service and while not perfect I did get to see a lot of football and get acquainted with the league.
    Now a days I rely on restreamers like GoATD.Net to provide me with access to matches.


  3. jamonty42

    June 8, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Being overseas, I paid for a subscription to the ESPN Player which gives me access to all NASL games both live and on demand (except for NYCosmos home games, who make their own rules). Despite the “access”, even I have to offer complaints over Saturday’s game in Florida. The stream was terrible quality with horizontal lines distorting players during any fast movement. If it was John Smits standing still, no problem… but try to watch a tic-tac break-out and the visual distortion made your eyes hurt.
    The pitch in St. Petersburg was also a mess. A rainstorm created puddles all over the pitch which unfortunately only further added to the feel of bush league. Al Lang stadium couldn’t handle the downpour, NASL couldn’t get a decent webstream to their fans and the Eddies couldn’t handle a decimated TB Rowdies line-up. In a former baseball stadium, that is three strikes and lights out.


  4. Soccerfan

    June 7, 2015 at 10:59 am

    So you basically devote your whole life to Canadian soccer, and you write an article about having difficulties watching a boring NASL game played against Tampa? You do know the Women’s world cup was yesterday? Right? Is everything okay? Are you sick?


    • Steven Sandor

      June 7, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      You did see all my reports on WWC for Sportsnet, right?


  5. Nick Smith (@NSmithCA)

    June 7, 2015 at 10:14 am

    It’s pretty frustrating as a fan trying to watch both FCE and OFFC mathes in Vancouver. Out of town games are never available on TSNGO (despite what was said at the beginning of the season) and local streams from Edmonton and Ottawa are often unreliable.

    This has to be on the minds of Edmonton and Ottawa ownership as they contemplate whether to remain in NASL or make the jump to the rumoured Canadian league. If the CSA can negotiate a broadcast deal with TSN for this new league (which would seem likely given the involvement of the CFL) then there is a strong incentive to make the switch.

    For now though, something similar to what the USL does, with every single game available on YouTube in Canada and the US, would be most welcome.


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